Fedor was Offered ‘Millions and Millions’ to Fight in the UFC

August 26, 2011
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Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko

Remember the meeting held a couple of years ago between UFC president Dana White and former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko and his management team from M-1 Global?

For the first time, White disclosed at least the ballpark figure that the UFC offered Emelianenko to come fight for their promotion when speaking to Dan Le Batard on his radio show in Miami.

The meeting went down after Zuffa purchased Pride, while Emelianenko was still universally ranked as the No. 1 heavyweight in the sport.

White flew out to an island to meet with the Russian and his team of representatives including M-1 Global leader Vadim Finkelstein.

“We went in there and negotiated, gave them a great offer to come in and fight in the UFC, and they turned it down. I said ‘let me tell you, you’re one punch away from being worth zero’ and I was wrong, he was one triangle choke away from being worth zero,” said White.

Following that time, Emelianenko opted to fight for Strikeforce in a series of co-promoted shows along with M-1 Global.

In Strikeforce, Emelianenko went 1-3, losing his last three fights in a row, most recently a TKO defeat to current light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson.

Following the defeat, Zuffa opted to not feature Emelianenko on any further Strikeforce cards, and White believes that revisionist history would see a much different result if they sat down in that room one more time.

“He’s lost three in a row now after the last offer we made him, and I guarantee you they lay in bed every night wishing they could go back,” White stated.

So just how much did Emelianenko leave on the table in that meeting?

Former M-1 Global employee Jerry Millen, who isn’t on the good side of his former employer or White, told MMAWeekly.com, “It was huge, huge money, and nobody is talking about how much money it was because Dana doesn’t want his guys to know what they offered Fedor to fight.  You can’t say you’ve offered a figher $4 million to $5 million to fight because of his fighters found out they would would freak out.”

White didn’t get into specific numbers, and did not substantiate any claims of $4 million to $5 million dollars per fight, but did indicate the amount was substantial; probably more than any one fighter has been offered from day one to compete in the UFC.

“More than he’s ever made in his entire career, and more than he will ever see in the rest of his life. I’ll say this, and I haven’t said this anywhere else, millions and millions of dollars,” White confirmed.

Fedor’s representatives turned the offer down flat, wanting more concessions for M-1 Global on top of Fedor’s salary.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but in this particular case it appears White got his money’s worth out of Fedor Emelianenko… even though he never signed him.

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  • jared499

    I say yet again, I still want to see Fedor fight more, and with that being said, M-1 screwed Fedor out of millions of dollars. All because they wanted more money on top to co-promote with the UFC. I hope they are happy, because now they will not get him a contract even close to that and their power to force co-promtions is over. I hope that they used some of the money that they swindled from Fedor to build another fighter, cause their money train is over.

  • judo johnson

    man you got to take that money $$$$$, i am down for Fedor, but come on man $$$$$$

    • wonggfan

      millions and millions my ass.

      Dana offered at most 1.5 million per fight. Fedor didn’t need the UFC to make money.



  • somecokehead

    Fedor is done! Looks a bit like Arlovski, Liddel or Nogiera. Cro cop too. Now Fedor has to damage his brain to scrape together enough money to maintain his standard of living. Good fighter, bad business man.

    • jared499

      I think it would be better to say that he choose the wrong people to trust with his fighting career. Because in the end, M-! was the business managment company pulling the strings, requiring absurd co-promtional clauses and crap. He choose the wrong company, if he actually had a choice.

  • Fedor’s only hope at a meaningful comeback is to move down to 205 – and if he does, he’d be a perfect fit for ProElite, which doesn’t have a marquee light-heavyweight yet.

  • camthemusicman

    M-1 Global messed his career up.You have to watch who you have around you buisiness wise or personal.This guy was a great fighter and it Is a shame that they took advantage of his of his talent.

    • Unador

      aye, and it’s shame they didn’t train him better. All the money Fedor, and his management team made, and they couldn’t round this guys skills out. They couldn’t show this guy with improvement at each fight.
      They really put in no effort to devolop this guy, just fed him full of hype and blew the money.

  • madona

    Fedor still would take most of the ufc hw division out, if not all of it. He will be back.

    Why is Lesnar ranked in the top 10 by the way?

  • wonggfan

    Lol at all you morons talking out of ass.

    Fedor made a lot of money and was able to stay in business this long (when every fighter from his generation fell off the rankings) precisely because he was with M-1 Global.

    Fedor made millions with M-1 Global. I doubt the UFC could have offered him more. He made more money on a single fight than a typical total fight purse in one UFC event.

    • realist

      oh rlly?they fell of ranking huh?What abot A Silva
      undefeated in a real organization ,not that fixed pride rubbish.

      • Megacharge

        Oh, the Steroid cheat who got KTFO and then in the rematch got his leg broken by the same guy? lol

  • wonggfan

    “He’s lost three in a row now after the last offer we made him, and I guarantee you they lay in bed every night wishing they could go back,” White stated.

    Not really silly Dana.